Hot on the heels of our successful kitchen planning visit, Jen and I decided to set aside Saturday for research and informational purposes. The plan was to get an early start and hit the Sears to view the selection of shiny appliances, but I realized that the grass on the front lawn was getting higher than the house, so we spent the morning outside cutting, hacking, weeding, and taming the greenery in the front yard. Then, armed with five recent copies of Consumer Reports (thanx, mom) and a notepad, we hit the top floor of Sears and rebuffed the first of fifty offers for help. (Next time, I think we’re going to wear shirts that simply say, in Large Capital Letters, NO, WE’RE JUST BROWSING, THANKS.) We found a dishwasher we like, and then a range, and finally a refrigerator, after opening, closing, reading, crosschecking, pricing, and consulting our articles. (More information on our front-runners later.) That evening we returned to the house and plucked the second of two eggplant from our garden, followed Martha’s recipe, and made eggplant parmesan. My history with eggplant has been a rocky and contentious one (or, an oogy and slimy one, as the case may be) so this was big experimentation for the Lockardugans. It didn’t make me gag, I didn’t turn into mush, and it was right tasty with some fresh parmesan cheese. Will wonders never cease!
Sunday morning we drug ourselves out of bed, put on our Going To Town Clothes and drove to Frederick for a romantic day of antiquing. The sun was out but not hot, the streets were full of people, and we only spent $11—the stores full of bargains are slowly giving way to upscale expensive antique boutiques and new craftmade furniture dealers, signs that they’ve turned the corner from loveable run-down old-timey city center to Washington Suburb. However, we stopped in at a spanish/mexican restaurant and ate one of the tastiest seafood dishes I’ve had in years.
Monday we returned to the yard and continued straightening up our ghetto-fabulous house. I got a finish coat of paint on the back atrium windows and the attic peak, and installed two screens for better ventilation, something I’ve been meaning to get to for, oh, about two months now. All this just reminds me of the long list of stuff still to do—there are two more sides of windows to go outside—but it’s always good to feel like something got accomplished.